Monday, September 18, 2006

Testosterone, Machinery, and Me

I have long had a theory that machines are testosterone-dependent. The data are clear. My car makes a noise. I ask Dave to listen to it. The car stops making the noise. The computer does something weird. I call the boy-child for help. The problem resolves as soon as he sits down, but before he's done anything. I theorize that machines draw power from ambient testosterone. When I sit in front of them too long, the testosterone levels are depleted and the machinery fails. A boy-person walks into the area, and *magic* -everything is fine. This is the not-so-natural order of things.

What I didn't know is that my house is also testosterone-dependent. Last week wasn't a great one in the "year of Andrea's independence" project. There was a rather disturbing encounter with the lawn mower and blue smoke pouring from it. Unfortunately, we'd had something like nine days of rain, so there was also really long grass. The shower doors came off their track. The dryer started making that noise it makes. The lightbulb that I absolutely can't reach without hauling the heavy ladder up the twisty stairs burned out.

I would love to tell you that I handled these things with grace and aplomb. Not so much. I whined to my friends and siblings. I whined to my on-line "invisible friends". And arguably worse, I whined to Dave. That needs to stop. In the end, all those things got fixed. Power tools were involved. Yay me! As it turns out, I am not testosterone dependent.

I learned that I need to ration my whining. Even I was losing patience with it; my friends were probably ready to throw me off the nearest tall building. And I learned what I've told social work clients for about 100 years. Keep options open. If the first strategy doesn't solve the problem, the thing that competent adults do is find another way. Of course, having the thought pop into my head is not the same thing as really learning it. But it's a start.

I am not testosterone-dependent. It's my new mantra ;)

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